15 May 2013

Southern Africa: Madagascar's Rajoelina Refuses to Withdraw Candidacy

Photo: L'Express Mada
Andry Rajoelina

Cape Town — Madagascar's leader Andry Rajoelina has ignored a request by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), not to run in the upcoming elections, reports AFP.

Rajoelina reportedly said that it is up to the people to decide whether he should stand for presidency or not.

The president of the High Transitional Authority had previously agreed - under pressure from the regional bloc - to abstain from the July 24 poll.

The SADC made the call in an attempt to restore peace in the Indian Ocean Island which has had four years of political unrest since Rajoelina, backed by the army, came to power in a 2009 coup where he ousted his rival, Marc Ravalomanana.

SADC has also urged the wife of Madagascar's ousted leader, Lalao Ravalomanana, and former president Didier Ratsiraka to withdraw from the July election.

The decision to put forward the wife of Madagascar's ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana was "unwise", the SADC statement said.

However, the country's Special Electoral Court has authorised all of them to run in the presidential race.

Nirhy Lanto Andriamahazo, a close aide to Rajoelina, confirmed that "according to the laws in place, the three candidates cannot withdraw", AFP reports.

The first round of the presidential elections will be held alongside parliamentary elections, with a second round of presidential elections to be held in September if a run-off is needed.

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